Attack hugged... Yes, I worry a lot.

Discussion in 'General Education' started by treefrogs, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. treefrogs

    treefrogs Rookie

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    Sep 12, 2012

    So, I'm usually pretty good about turning surprise hugs into side hugs or high fives. But, recently I had a student run up and hug me. The student hadn't seen me in a few months, and the hug was very brief and not close. (Basically, she wasn't doing anything bad.) I remember doing the exact same thing when I came back to school in the Fall and saw my favorite high school teachers. I don't hug students, and I have had students try to give me weird hugs, but I've always been able to avoid those (and have discussions about what is appropriate.)

    I usually write down things like this just in case, but what do you do when these things happen?

    Sorry for the iffy grammar, I'm too tired to proof anymore. :)
     
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  3. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    Why are you afraid/reluctant to hug students?
     
  4. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I don't have a problem with students hugging me. As long as it's not too long, I'm not going to stop them.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Among other things, Mike, because it's really easy for someone - possibly the student, possibly someone else - to misinterpret, and disciplinary action or even lawsuits can be the result.

    Sigh.
     
  6. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Well, it happens. You can't do much about an attack hug. I'm happy to give any student a hug, but I make sure they learn to let me know in some way first. This is mainly so that I can get on the right level so they don't end up with their face somewhere inconvenient. I just explain that it's the polite thing to do. It generally comes up when I'm getting to know a new group of students and with a few gentle reminders, they get the hang of it. Might be worth noting that I typically work with younger kids. I've only worked in special ed when it comes to secondary, and that was typically very physical out of necessity anyway. I know it's different with the big kids, especially for men.
     
  7. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    That's... upsetting, to say the least. I've hugged two teachers before, but I was very close with them. The first was my chorus teacher, who retired at the end of my junior year, and we cried and hugged it out. The other was my AP US teacher, who I hugged at graduation, and hug every time I see her (she was also the first teacher I did education fieldwork with).

    I mean, I understand that you'd rather be safe than sorry though. It's just sad that we have to refuse a hug from a student.
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I'll put it this way, Mike: it's not fun to have to calculate this way, but it makes sense to bear this in mind.
     
  9. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    I think there is less for you to worry about when the student initiates the hug.
     
  10. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I don't like hugging students either!
     
  11. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    While it is sad to acknowledge the potential for misunderstandings, it is a fact of life in the post-Mary Letourneau (sp?) world.I have had to do the quick-turn-to-the-side manouever because well, umm, I'm shall we say cushy right where one of my student's face hit when he hugged me, and he hugged me a lot. I was really surprised that I encountered this in a first grade setting, but just learned to adjust my stance, lol. I don't think he was consciously aiming for that area, but he sure did like to hug, lol!
     
  12. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Believe it or not some children need that hug more than anything else you could give them. Imagine you are six years old. No father and your mother is completely distracted with __________fill in the blank and it is probably nothing nice. You go to school with other children much cleaner and better dressed and they seem happy. Your teacher is NICE to you and praises you and gives you encouragement. I would no more turn down a hug from that child than I would turn down free money. Believe it or not many of those children walk into classrooms everyday. And you think you are gonna get their complete attention in some sterile impersonal environment? Good luck with that. Hugs are good and have never caused me a problem in 33 years.
     
  13. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    You didn't specify if you are male or female. Unfortunately, I understand why you may show concern if you are a male teacher, but in general I think you're fine regardless. Sometimes the school hugs are the only hugs in their day.
     
  14. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I still hug, and I give gentle touches as well (pats on back, take their hand occasionally, etc.). It's just that we (teachers) are open to so much criticism and have so little back up from admin & politicians. Unfortunately, it's better to be safe than sorry. I don't allow myself to be in a classroom with a closed door with less than 2-3 students.
     
  15. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I wouldn't think of it another moment.
     
  16. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I remember seeing some news stories last year where schools actually have banned hugs altogether. Students are not allowed to hug each other or teachers/students-it's part of their policy now. I agree, very sad.
     
  17. msufan

    msufan Comrade

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    I probably give/receive 50+ hugs per day from current and former students. I consider it part of the job, to be honest. Some of those kids NEED those hugs.
     
  18. treefrogs

    treefrogs Rookie

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    I'm female, but I'm younger. I appreciate being able to see what others think about it in general, and it's in-line with what I was generally thinking. I've worked with younger kids, and that was definitely different.

    I felt pretty soulless to have to post this, but it's just so easy to be thrown under the bus.

    I once subbed at an elementary school that didn't allow any hugging after first grade. They even had signs posted all over the staff rooms, mail-room, and in the offices.
     
  19. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I put a hand in front of me and shake their hand instead. I don't do hugs either.

    I don't even hug my parents.

    I feel hugs should be meaningful, so I only give them hugs at the end of the year, on their graduation day.
     
  20. Mellz Bellz

    Mellz Bellz Comrade

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    Sep 13, 2012

    I try to limit hugs and usually by 6th grade they are kinda over hugging although I actually had two students impulsively hug me the first week of school. I try to make it a quick hug. Some kids need it.
     
  21. PinkCupcake

    PinkCupcake Cohort

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    Sep 13, 2012

    I just can't see not hugging a child. I come from an elementary background where I get a few hugs a day at least from kids. I can understand not everyone being a hugger, but for me I don't mind them at all.
     
  22. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Sep 14, 2012

    If I ever lose my job because a student hugged me in public then it was time for me to go any way.
     
  23. msufan

    msufan Comrade

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    +1

    This is my attitude toward everything that's not good for kids. Example: If I lose my job because I was unwilling to test-prep all year, then guess what, it was time for me to go anyway.
     
  24. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    I was attack hugged once. The fire alarm went off and, at this school, we had no assigned places for classes to go. It was an urban school in a residential neighbourhood, so the best we could do was to keep them on the lawn in front of the school, as close to the sidewalk as possible (sometimes hard to do with 1400 kids).

    Anyway, I was standing there, talking to some teachers and a student came up and hugged me from behind. It was a little unnerving because I couldn't see who it was.

    I teach junior high now and I don't hug my students often, but when they initiate it, I will.
     
  25. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I think it might also depend on what grade you are teaching. Now that I'm in K, I appreciate the hugs students give. Yet, in middle school, I was a little wary about hugging. Just a different beast.
     
  26. trulyunic

    trulyunic Rookie

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    I had a male student come 2 weeks ago and say "ms trulyunic, I need a hug."
    I felt bad but I shook my head a little and said "no sorry I cant"
    He asked why and I was a little thrown off even more :/
    I made a joke and said I don't want to be on the front of the newspaper :/

    I really didn't knw how to handle it. I teach 9th grade
     
  27. bison

    bison Habitué

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    I find that extremely sad.
     
  28. MsG

    MsG Companion

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    Sep 16, 2012

    I teach 4th grade and I hug kids everyday. I'm at a low SES school and they need it. We have a classroom "hug, handshake, or high five" deal at the end of the day. The kids choose one to do with me at the end of each day. My fifth graders stop by each day and continue the tradition. It may be the only hug they get all day. Even if they don't like to touch, they high five or create a handshake. (I have special handshakes with a few of my boys.) I side hug all of my kids. It's never been a problem.
     
  29. msufan

    msufan Comrade

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    Sep 16, 2012

    me too... try a brief little side hug or something, at least?
     
  30. trulyunic

    trulyunic Rookie

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    Yes, I have just been so bombarded by my assigned mentor at the school with things NOT to do that I admit I'm a little stand-offish in some regards with my students. A lot of things seem gray...like a student asked if I could stay after school to help them more in our subject but catches the school bus and would need a ride home. I had no prob with it but ran it past my mentor and she said even though there are no rules against takin a student home she would advise against it. Gray!

    I'm a first year teacher and I'm working to do my best. I will def do a side hug at the least if a student needs a hug from me
     
  31. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    Sep 16, 2012

    Trulyunic, I would not offer to stay after school to help a student unless they have a note from a parent/guardian who will pick them up at a pre-arranged time, and I would provide that help in an open area such as the library or at the very least in the classroom with the door open. I might go so far as to let an administrator know you are doing after school help with so-and-so. If possible, I'd try to open the session up to several other students as well so you are not alone with one student. You are teaching high school and since you are a new teacher (I am assuming a young teacher), it would be very easy for a high school student to have a crush on you and possibly try to act on it.

    I also hug kids, high five, shake hands - whatever, but it is always in a group situation. I'm also much more on guard if it is a male student (I'm a woman). In 8th grade many of these young men are MUCH bigger than I am.

    There are gray areas, but I would try to stay in the clearly black and white until I had much more experience.

    Good luck in your new career!
     

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